It’s the Spring Pledge Drive on my favorite radio station, KDFC out of San Francisco. Music is essential to me and being able to stream classical music from my hometown area was a touchstone for me when we lived in Texas. Listener supported radio relies on its listening community to pay the bills so they can fulfill their mission offering a great classical music experience for everyone.
That got me to thinking about about other membership drives and fundraising. I’m sure you’ve been approached at some time or another to support a charitable cause. As a pastor, I was in perpetual fundraising mode. Everything, and I mean everything, I did was all about providing services (and I’m not talking about sermons, although worship was but one service we provided) that added value to people’s lives and welcomed newcomers in to the community. I learned early on in my ministry that people supported churches they believed made a real and visible difference in the community. They liked being associated with a church that worked in tangible ways addressing social issues in their backyards like suburban poverty, homelessness, food insecurities, gun violence (several parishioners had loved ones who had been murdered), and other ways making God relevant in the 21st century.
Participating in a membership drive or charitable event always benefits us. We feel good by doing our part. But what if someone asked you to be a part of God’s membership drive? Or asked you to participate in a charitable event for God? Would you all of a sudden become invisible, wishing the ground would swallow you right up?
Here’s the beauty of God’s membership drive: there’s nothing to do! It is a gift to us. God loves us just because. Desmond Tutu reminds us:
The good news is that God loves me long before I could have done anything to deserve it.
By offering ourselves back to God, we enable God to work in, among, and through us to love a broken and hurting world. God’s intangible for most of us because God disguises God’s self in us. Here’s something to think about; we make God visible to others.
May this be our prayer for today:
Receive, Lord, the offering of our lives that every breath might be holy to you. ~ Common Prayer.